Friday, September 5, 2014

Sedition R Us: A word of caution to GHAH

Guess what folks....a new "movement" was initiated....

KUALA LUMPUR: A new movement, comprising 112 NGOs, has been set up to pressure for the abolition of the Sedition Act. The Abolish the Sedition Act Movement includes Suara Rakyat Malaysia, Lawyers for Liberty and Amnesty International Malaysia. The group said in a joint statement today that the Sediction Act was broadly defined and easily open to abuse by the government. They said over the past one month, the Sedition Act had been used against opposition leaders, a law professor and a journalist in a new wave of political repression and terror. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Civil Rights committee chairman Liau Kok Fah said the charges under the Sedition Act was similar to Ops Lalang. “Is this the Ops. Lalang 2.0?” he asked. The movement wants the Sedition Act 1948 repealed and all charges against the people involved dropped with no replacement Act introduced with similar draconian provisions. In 2012 and 2013, Prime Minister Najib Razak had promised to repeal the Sedition Act but had failed to do so, as the recent crackdown had shown. Also present at the press conference was social activist Hishamuddin Rais, who is among those charged under Act. (here)

It seems that most folks are pre-occupied with the "promise" made by Najib

14. Semasa pembentangan Rang Undang-undang Kesalahan Keselamatan (Langkah-Langkah Khas) di Dewan Rakyat pada 16 April 2012 yang lalu, saya telah mengumumkan bahawa Kerajaan akan mengkaji semula secara komprehensif Akta Hasutan 1948 tanpa mengetepikan apa-apa opsyen, yakni sama ada untuk meminda peruntukan-peruntukan yang sedia ada atau memansuhkan Akta yang sudah berusia lebih 64 tahun tersebut sama sekali. 

15. Kerajaan telah membuat keputusan agar Akta Hasutan 1948 dimansuhkan dan digantikan dengan suatu rang undang-undang yang dikenali sebagai Akta Keharmonian Nasional. Keputusan menggantikan Akta Hasutan dibuat kerana kita mahu mencari mekanisme yang dapat menentukan keseimbangan terbaik di antara keperluan menjamin kebebasan bersuara setiap warganegara sesuai dan selaras dengan peruntukan dan jaminan yang terkandung di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan keperluan untuk menangani kompleksiti kemajmukan yang wujud di negara ini. (here)
It went from "Mengkaji semula secara Komprehensif" to "telah membuat keputusan agar Akta Hasutan 1948 dimansuhkan"

My first question would be where is the output of the Kajian Semula Secara Komprehensif?

Bole tengok tak? Ke National Secret? Takkan takde white paper on the Pro and Cons of the retaining Act and what should the framework of reform be?

And my bigger question ......have you consulted Majlis Raja Raja?

Why so you may ask

The thing is our Sedition Act is enacted from clause 10 (4), and any changes to it will require the "Consent of the Conference of Rulers"

 Article 159 (5)
(5) A law making an amendment to Clause (4) of Article 10, any law passed thereunder, the provisions of part iii, Article 38, Clause (4) of Article 63, Article 70, Clause (1) of Article 71, Clause (4) of Article 72, Article 152, or 153 or to this Clause shall not be passed without the consent of the Conference of Rulers.

The Sedition Act changes in the 1969/70 was made under the Clauses of Article 10 (4)

Article 10 Freedom of speech, assembly and association. 
(1) Subject to Clauses (2), (3) and (4)— (a) every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression; 
(2) parliament may by law impose— (a) on the rights conferred by paragraph (a) of Clause (1), such restrictions as it deems necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of the Federation or any part thereof, friendly relations with other countries, public order or morality and restrictions designed to protect the privileges of parliament or of any Legislative Assembly or to provide against contempt of court, defamation, or incitement to any offence;
(4) in imposing restrictions in the interest of the security of the Federation or any part thereof or public order under paragraph (a) of Clause (2), parliament may pass law prohibiting the questioning of any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of part iii, Article 152, 153 or 181 otherwise than in relation to the implementation thereof as may be specified in such law (source Federal Constitution here)

Now lets just say that our Parliament unanimously passes the new bill. What would happen if the Conference of Rulers does not agree?

Another stand off with the Rulers while the Sedition Act is still in Force?

That would be an interesting scenario to watch? Would the Gerakan start to Bergerak ke Jalan demanding the repeal to Sedition Act?

Betul lu brani? We shall see.....

And to those who are in support of retaining the Act, I would suggest a Comprehensive Memorandum to the Majlis Raja2 to state your objections and provide the reasons as to why it should be retained.

Simple approach no need to set up any Gerakan this Gerakan that nor the need to go to the streets or issue any threats to anyone. Use the Majlis Raja Raja as as tool to achieve that stated objective. 

Alright I gotto go back into hybernation......till then folks

Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open. -Lord Thomas Dewer